Blog

St. Patrick of Ireland… And anywhere else the Irish have a home…

March 17th –St. Patrick’s Day St. Patrick’s Day is, in North America, a bit like Christmas. It is always coming. But St. Patrick’s Day is about so much more than green beer and leprechaun dolls. For the Irish-diaspora, especially the Irish in America, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of heritage. But it is also about making new traditions. You can use St. Patrick’s Day to focus on tradition, or art, or just having a

National Tartan Day –April 6th A Day to Remember…

April 6th –National Tartan Day In both the United States and Canada April 6th is recognized as National Tartan Day in recognition of the contributions of the descendants of Scotland who helped build both countries. In the United States National Tartan Day has a special poignancy because the date chosen is the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. The Declaration of Arbroath –also known as the Declaration of Scottish Independence– includes the lines:

National Tartan Day –A New World Nod to Old Scotland…

April 6th –National Tartan Day In both the United States and Canada April 6th is recognized as National Tartan Day in recognition of the contributions of the descendants of Scotland who helped build both countries. In the United States National Tartan Day has a special poignancy because the date chosen is the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. The Declaration of Arbroath –also known as the Declaration of Scottish Independence– includes the lines:

Adam Smith –Romance, Economics, Scotland & the 18th Century…

March 9th –Anniversary of the Publication of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in 1776 We look back at 18th century Scotland as a romantic period, but it was also a period when a handful of Scottish thinkers –including Adam Smith the father of economics– gave birth to the Scottish Enlightenment –the business world, and the world in general, would never be quite the same again. A revolutionary thinker –although definitely less political than David Hume–
We at Nagle Forge & Foundry do not make anything with a specifically "Cornish" motif. We have also never made a piece dedicated to the Cornish Saint. However, tin is the primary component of pewter and we use over 1,200 pounds of tin in a given year so we like to think that most of our pieces are a tribute to the Cornish Saint Pirran.

Piran of Cornwall –the early Celtic Cornish Saint of Tinners

March 5th –St. Piran’s Day a.k.a. St. Perran or Pyran. A 6th century Irishman who literally washed ashore in Cornwall, Piran is credited with bringing Celtic-style Christianity to Cornwall. The Cornish Saint is also dear to our hearts at Nagle Forge & Foundry because he is the patron saint of tinners –tin being one of the primary products of Cornwall and the primary component of pewter! Beloved by the people of Cornwall Piran’s banner of a

St. David, Patron Saint of Wales…

March 1st –St. David’s Day The Feast Day of St. David, patron saint of Wales. A 6th century Welsh monk who praised –and lived– a simple life. David is something of a folk hero for the Welsh. In life he ministered to the Welshmen who defended Wales against the Saxon invaders –and is linked to the tradition of displaying leeks on March 1st as a symbol of solidarity. In prophecy, David, like King Arthur, is
Kildare --An inland county, just west of Dublin, Kildare is woven through with some of Ireland’s most important rivers --including the Barrow, the Boyne and the Liffey. Once a part of the Kingdom of Leinster, Kildare already had an ancient history --stretching back to at least the Bronze Age-- when St. Brigid founded a religious community there sometime in the early sixth century. Later in the ninth century Kildare’s rivers made it easy for Viking raiders --moving inland from Dublin-- to establish an area of settlement known as the Dyflinkarskiri. However, famous as Kildare is for its fish it is even more famous for its horses and, in recent centuries, its horse races. (In the early 20th century Kildare was also the site of one of Ireland’s first motor races.)
February 1st –The Feast Day of St. Brigid of Kildare February First is traditionally celebrated as the Feast Day of St. Brigid –or Brigit– of Kildare. Born to an enslaved mother and a pagan Irish chieftain sometime in the 5th century, Brigid was raised among Druids. Early in the Christian Missionary period she was Baptized & dedicated her life to charity & education eventually founding an art school as well as a convent in Kildare.
Burns Posey Ring

The Bard’s Birthday –Remember Robbie Burns…

January 25th –Burns’ Night The Bard’s Birthday. The author of Auld Lang Syne, Tam o’ Shanter, The Cottar’s Saturday Night, and the mournfully romantic Mary in Heaven, as well as hundreds of other classics Robbie Burns, the rustic “ploughman poet,” was beloved by lords and ploughboys alike in the late 18th century. Despite his fame, Burns’ died near the edge of poverty before his fortieth birthday. But his friends –and his own work– wouldn’t let

Ireland & the Celtic Cross –The Making of an Icon…

The Irish Celtic Cross While the High Crosses of Ireland are Medieval in their pageantry –covered with Saints and symbols, incised with intricate knotwork– at heart the Celtic Cross is a simple design that almost certainly predates Christianity by a millennium or more. The original meaning of those early Celtic Crosses has been lost. Is it just a variation of the Lug –the music loving Celtic sun god– wheel symbol? Or is it older? An
Scottish Star

A Star in Scotland: Rome, the Celts, the Scots & the Jews

This magnificent Plaid Brooches features a bold Star of David surrounded with a traditional Celtic ring of shields inlaid with blue glass Millefiori. As always… a Nagle Forge & Foundry original…. Between them Edinburgh and Glasgow have seven Synagogues. Today the vast majority of Jewish Scots can trace their ancestry to 19th century Poland. The pogroms that decimated many of the Jewish villages of Poland and Russia at the end of the 19th century coincided